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Review

Glossy picks: new a beauty arrivals we've tested and loved

May 7th 2021 / Victoria Woodhall / 0 comment

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From the best £5 you'll ever spend on your lips, to the perfect pick-me-up for 2nd-day hair and the £14 palette that's a complete look, your summer gloss starts here

Every week we bring you the best of the best, the new products and discoveries that have made it home with us to our bathrooms and makeup bags. From potent age-proofing creams to gorgeous fragrances and the best eyebrow pen on the planet, this is what we really rate.

The products on this page have been chosen by our editorial team. If you buy something we recommend we may earn an affiliate commission.

Drunk Elephant Sugared Koffie Almond Milk Scrub, £24

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Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, editorial director

"This smells like the sort of latte you know you shouldn't have - sweet, creamy, delicious. I could face plant in it, but that would be a waste. I don't normally like scrubs with large 'grains' (in this case sugar) but this one was such an indulgent sensory experience that I couldn't get enough. The has a concoction of oils from coconut to watermelon seed that left my legs arms and bum smooth but not oily. The latte aspect comes from coffee seed extract which helps with circulation and there's a nutty note from almond oil. Drunk Elephant's skincare is normally scent-free, so if you're a fan of the brand, as I am, you'll relish this rare treat."

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Skin W1 Collagen Stimulating Moisturiser by Dr Rabia Malik, £105 50ml

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Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, editorial director

“So many creams call themselves ‘collagen stimulating’ but this new doctor brand really means it. Founder Dr Rabia Malik, who practices in London at the Harrods Wellness Clinic and the Lanserhof at the Arts Club, is a rarity in that she’s an aesthetic doctor who doesn’t use needles (apart from microneedling) but gets brilliant results from dermarolling, peels and most importantly targeted skincare.

"One ingredient that she’s been using in-clinic for years is a copper amino acid complex called 'methyl glucoside phosphate and copper lysinate/prolinate', for its impressive clinical trials showing an increase in firmness in two weeks. It’s only very rarely used in skincare because it's expensive and hard to get hold of. Dr Rabia spent four years making her own for clients to take home to continue their regime. Skin W1 launched last week, with clinical levels of actives, including two per cent of the copper amino acid, which is double the strength of the formula that achieved the results in trials. There’s niacinamide and a gentle vitamin C in there too.

"Like retinol, it works to boost collagen but without irritation or dryness, although you can also use your retinol underneath it or extra vitamin C during the day. Fragrance-free with a lovely velvety feel, this is now my one-stop age-proofing cream. It’s pricey but Dr Rabia has made it as a labour of love without a huge markup. This is one age-proofing cream where the science says your pennies are well spent. I use either the Collagen Stimulating Serum, £95 or the moisturiser every day. They both have the same level of actives in, so I chose depending on what else I want t layer that day, knowing I'm getting my copper amino acd dose.|"

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Hello Sunday The One For Your Lips - Clear Lip Balm SPF 50, £5

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Loved by: Jemma Thompson, design and social media manager

“I can't tell you how many times I've burned my lips because I refused to wear sunscreen and instead relied on lip glosses and balms to keep me looking ‘Insta ready’ on holiday. It's a mistake I won't make again, especially now that I've discovered this balm from the latest sunscreen brand on the block, Hello Sunday. It doesn’t leave you with an ashy white cast which was my main woe with SPF, and it has a completely transparent shine that’s almost gloss-like. Not the slightest bit sticky, just incredibly nourishing and smells irresistible thanks to shea butter and hyaluronic acid which help keep your pout protected and soft. I'm not going anywhere without it.”

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Kevyn Aucoin True Feather Brow Gel Duo, £22

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Loved by: Hattie Sloggett, GTG columnist

“Legendary MUA Kevyn Aucoin has given us exactly what we didn't know we needed. The love child of the felt-tip marker and a fine line eyebrow pencil, this pen is my absolute new favourite. With a choice of colours that lend themselves to every complexion and a built-in clear gel and spoolie on the bottom, everyone can create brows that will make even Cara Delevingne jealous. The fine point brush allows for defining and feathering hair-like strokes, while tilting the angle slightly enables a denser application, for filling-in and depth enhancement. No flakiness or stiffness comes from the gel either, in fact, it is infused with mung bean and red clover extract which helps aid hair growth. As someone who isn't the most adept at brow maintenance, this double-ended beauty is a game-changer.”

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Mermade Pro Mini Waver 25mm, £54

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Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager

It’s pink, and will give you beach babe vibes for days - what’s not to love? Curls are a thing of the past in my household, it's all about the grown-up crimped look, so you can feel that just right amount of undone. Better still it works best on two-day-old (or longer!) hair so it’s the perfect excuse to put off that bi-weekly hair wash. Prep with a bit of dry shampoo and seal the look with hair spray to leave your hair wavy and volumised! "

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Perricone MD Plasma Plus+ The Intensive Hydrating Complex, £145 59ml

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Loved by: Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG contributor

“Skincare powerhouse, Dr Perricone has added to its iconic Cold Plasma collection with this deeply nourishing and ultra-rich elixir for day and night. I struggle with dry, tight-feeling skin, despite lashings of face cream the night before. This has a balm-like texture and soaks in seconds, leaving my skin mature feeling supple and satiated. It’s packed with key antioxidants such as vitamin C to brighten, plus peptides to improve wrinkles and then there’s a complex of jojoba, soybean and olive oils to intensely hydrate and soften the skin. It works as a day or night cream, and is clinically proven to reduce fines and elasticity. Yes, it’s an investment product, it is a skincare joy and my face is now in heaven.”

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Kayali Sweet Diamond Pink Pepper 25 Eau De Parfum Intense, £79 50ml

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Loved by: Jemma Thompson, design and social media manager

“On paper, I would never choose a scent that includes the word "sweet," but as the saying goes, don't judge a perfume by its bottle (close enough, right?). This incredibly sweet yet spicy eau de parfum was an unexpected delight to smell; it's the kind of fragrance that makes people stop and ask what you're wearing. It's seductive, warm, and oozes sensuality. It has an eclectic blend of pink pepper, bulgarian rose, and sandalwood that creates a floral and woody scent. The number 25 was inspired by the 25 rounds of formula tweaking that went into creating the perfect balance of flirty and sweet.”

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e.l.f Jen Atkin Let's E.L.F.Ing Do This Palette, light-medium, £14

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Loved by: Jane Druker, GTG contributor

“It may be unseasonably stormy but I’ve found my little shot of sunshine. A budget palette featuring a bronzer, four eye shades, a blush and a rockin’ highlighter which is heaven sent for lifting your looks in a ‘just got back from a fortnight in Barbados’ way (ah – if only!). I add it over my blush on my cheeks for a peachy glowy finish. The full collection is a limited edition exclusive to Boots and contains an eye kit, lip duo, face mist, hair and brow pomade and eyeliner as well as the aforementioned palette of cleverness (which also comes in a darker variety).

It’s also a really interesting collaboration between the always innovative but affordable brand (e.l.f) and hairstylist Jen Atkin - the Kardashian beauty fixer, entrepreneur whom the New York Time feted as ‘most influential hair stylist in the world. You’ll probably know her from her luxury hair care line Ouai.

I love each and every of the eye colours which you can combine simply, incremental as they are, in their depth, the bronzer is subtle, the blush apricot and flattering and the highlighter is wonderfully golden. It’s a keeper!”

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Vigour8 SLF-Free Sports Bodywash, £19.89

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Loved by: Hattie Sloggett, GTG columnist

“Is there anything worse than getting a sweaty workout in and then feeling you can’t quite get all the grime off in the shower? Well, Vigour8 has the answer; designed by a sports osteopath and UK legend in mixed martial arts who know a thing or two about post-workout odours. Made with all-natural ingredients, SLS-free and with the best essential oils this antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral body wash not only smells delicious but leaves you feeling ultra-clean, moisturised, and raring to go. A must-have for anyone that likes to break a sweat.”

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ALLEVEN Instant Perfector, £115

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Loved by: Jemma Thompson, design and social media manager

“I love a product that simplifies my makeup bag, and this all-in-one concealer and foundation is ideal for on-the-go. The flattering creamy texture blends like a dream onto the skin, has a natural, full-coverage finish that is super buildable, and covers spots, blemishes, and tattoos without feeling cakey. Plus, it contains advanced tech and botanicals that helped to correct and even out my complexion leaving me looking luminous and brighter. Even better, it's the ideal spring/summer base as the long-wear formula is resistant to sweat and humidity, provides minimum transfer and leaves you with a matte, velvety complexion that’s suitable for all skin types."

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Facegym Electro-Lite Energizing + Brightening Gel Cleanser, £32 100ml

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Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager

Another epic launch from Facegym, this gel cleanser gives just the right amount of foam to feel like you’re getting a good clean. It gently cleanses and dissolves impurities to reveal a brighter complexion, replenishing the skin barrier with hydrating electrolytes - which basically mean it’s like an energy drink for the skin. Use in the morning and follow with the techniques you’ve picked up on their IG lives for the perfect wake up routine."

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